Mow and go - what's a fair price in a relatively poor area?

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
I see some dips and small rises there, how do you mow with a big skag and not have those imperfections mess you up? What size is it again?
Yeah it's got a hole where a house uses to be. I just ride it like a roller coaster. Probably 2000sq ft maybe. The other day when I drove by, the people in the yellow house mowed all the way over to the dip. Cut quality isn't important on it. Keep the city off his back is. The house to left is boarded up.
 
OP
J

JokerOfAllTrades

LawnSite Member
Location
Conneaut, Ohio
Why not jiust do work you’re accustomed to instead of trying to fish unfamiliar and barren water?

if you’re trying to make a buck
Find work
There’s tons of people dying for employees that will just show up!

it will make way more money than trying to mow grass (something you don’t know anything about) for people who can’t afford it.

this isn’t going to be your long term plan and if it was it wouldn’t be successful, so why start it at all?

If it were a long term plan, I would be able to make it successful. Why do it at all? Well, you see, our government and a lot of the citizenry in this country are brutally snarky and cruel toward people like me who have been on unemployment for a while. This is me "trying to make a buck by finding work".

To give you an idea of what it's like, Ohio just recently announced a substantial relaxation of its governmental mask mandates, to take effect June 2. If you're fully vaccinated, which my wife and I are, you don't have to wear a mask pretty much anywhere...

...except nursing homes and other similar congregate living facilities for the elderly.

Wanna take a guess where we've been making our money since 2013?

As long as people have to keep masking up at those places, they will be extremely reluctant to allow us back in to do our thing (performing musical shows for the residents), and on top of that, if they get so much as one positive COVID case, they'll lock down and cancel any scheduled show. Ask me how I know.

"So get a real job!" Oh now there's a brilliant idea. Did I mention that my wife and I have two small children, toxic families that we wouldn't trust for babysitting even if they were local, and no local friends with whom we could do a babysitting swap? Babysitting is expensive if you have to hire someone, there's no guarantee that the person will be trustworthy (as far as acting in accordance with how we want our children raised), and our younger kid would never deal with being away from Mommy for that long. Our older one doesn't like me being away for long periods of time, and on top of that, given that I have no recent experience doing anything that employers want, it pretty much guarantees that the only "real jobs" available to me would be crappy, low-paying, soul-destroying jobs.

If we'd had real leadership in this country that cared about people more than money, we wouldn't have a pandemic running roughshod over the populace, and my wife and I would have been able to continue doing what we've done for years. I would go back to that, and get off unemployment, in a millisecond. I've never been this busy or this stressed. We engineered a really nice situation where we could take our kids everywhere and get stuff done while riding in the car and whatever. It was great for us, and it was great for our older son. (The younger guy was only 4 months old when our show calendar was evacuated, so he didn't get to reap the developmental benefits that the older one did.) We've been furiously trying to get back into working as once we did, only to be regularly met with the same garbage - "we're still on lockdown", "we're still not doing big group activities", etc.

The point of cutting grass for a while is threefold: 1) get an idea of the business so that I might make an informed decision about whether or not to set up such a business in the area to which my family moves in a few years after I finish my master's degree; 2) work on a "here and there" basis so that I don't have to be away from the kids all day; 3) keep our heads above water and/or make our savings stretch longer until they finally release all of the stupid restrictions so that we can go back to working as we used to, before this plague was permitted to spread within our borders. I love how everyone rails about, "where are the parents?!" but then makes it nearly impossible for families to afford to live without the parents leaving their kids behind to "go to work".

[/rant]


Well I just put into perspective
I do this for a living
I live in a nice cul de sac
And if I don’t want to spend $140 a month to cut grass?
Poor folk are going to make a lousy target customer for sure!

and we all know route density will make of break you.

I'm not even worried about route density right now. I understand that it's a thing once you get a bunch of accounts - for a few years I taught music lessons, going to the students' houses. When I had 60+ students, my route was crucial. But when I started out, I had to take whatever I could get, and I don't mind doing that right now as long as I'm not driving all over the region to pick up a lawn here and a lawn there. I do recognize that I'll have to account for vehicle expenses and drive time in all of my quotes.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
If it were a long term plan, I would be able to make it successful. Why do it at all? Well, you see, our government and a lot of the citizenry in this country are brutally snarky and cruel toward people like me who have been on unemployment for a while. This is me "trying to make a buck by finding work".

To give you an idea of what it's like, Ohio just recently announced a substantial relaxation of its governmental mask mandates, to take effect June 2. If you're fully vaccinated, which my wife and I are, you don't have to wear a mask pretty much anywhere...

...except nursing homes and other similar congregate living facilities for the elderly.

Wanna take a guess where we've been making our money since 2013?

As long as people have to keep masking up at those places, they will be extremely reluctant to allow us back in to do our thing (performing musical shows for the residents), and on top of that, if they get so much as one positive COVID case, they'll lock down and cancel any scheduled show. Ask me how I know.

"So get a real job!" Oh now there's a brilliant idea. Did I mention that my wife and I have two small children, toxic families that we wouldn't trust for babysitting even if they were local, and no local friends with whom we could do a babysitting swap? Babysitting is expensive if you have to hire someone, there's no guarantee that the person will be trustworthy (as far as acting in accordance with how we want our children raised), and our younger kid would never deal with being away from Mommy for that long. Our older one doesn't like me being away for long periods of time, and on top of that, given that I have no recent experience doing anything that employers want, it pretty much guarantees that the only "real jobs" available to me would be crappy, low-paying, soul-destroying jobs.

If we'd had real leadership in this country that cared about people more than money, we wouldn't have a pandemic running roughshod over the populace, and my wife and I would have been able to continue doing what we've done for years. I would go back to that, and get off unemployment, in a millisecond. I've never been this busy or this stressed. We engineered a really nice situation where we could take our kids everywhere and get stuff done while riding in the car and whatever. It was great for us, and it was great for our older son. (The younger guy was only 4 months old when our show calendar was evacuated, so he didn't get to reap the developmental benefits that the older one did.) We've been furiously trying to get back into working as once we did, only to be regularly met with the same garbage - "we're still on lockdown", "we're still not doing big group activities", etc.

The point of cutting grass for a while is threefold: 1) get an idea of the business so that I might make an informed decision about whether or not to set up such a business in the area to which my family moves in a few years after I finish my master's degree; 2) work on a "here and there" basis so that I don't have to be away from the kids all day; 3) keep our heads above water and/or make our savings stretch longer until they finally release all of the stupid restrictions so that we can go back to working as we used to, before this plague was permitted to spread within our borders. I love how everyone rails about, "where are the parents?!" but then makes it nearly impossible for families to afford to live without the parents leaving their kids behind to "go to work".

[/rant]




I'm not even worried about route density right now. I understand that it's a thing once you get a bunch of accounts - for a few years I taught music lessons, going to the students' houses. When I had 60+ students, my route was crucial. But when I started out, I had to take whatever I could get, and I don't mind doing that right now as long as I'm not driving all over the region to pick up a lawn here and a lawn there. I do recognize that I'll have to account for vehicle expenses and drive time in all of my quotes.
You don’t want to work for poor people
Period
Anymore than a car salesman asks
“How much should I charge poor people for cars”

the answer is the same amount you charge everyone
There are people who can’t afford your services
Those aren’t the ones you want to waste your time focusing on

as far as being out of work
The government is paying $300 extra a week of unemployment
Even to gig workers
So with each of you getting $400 a week for being unemployed $100 from your state abd $300 from the government
That’s $3200 a month
So don’t go around plying the “ive got kids to feed routine”
3200 doesn’t include food stamps which brings you up to $4000 in government money per month.
If you were starving and dying you wouldn’t be able to get on the Internet.

I don’t chat with any of a local homeless around here through the Internet either

one of my son in laws is a movie theatre worker
I know exactly how much the government is paying to keep people unemployed

it will take you years to replace that building your own lawn biz and never if you focus on poor people as customers
 
OP
J

JokerOfAllTrades

LawnSite Member
Location
Conneaut, Ohio
You don’t want to work for poor people
Period
Anymore than a car salesman asks
“How much should I charge poor people for cars”

the answer is the same amount you charge everyone
There are people who can’t afford your services
Those aren’t the ones you want to waste your time focusing on

as far as being out of work
The government is paying $300 extra a week of unemployment
Even to gig workers
So with each of you getting $400 a week for being unemployed $100 from your state abd $300 from the government
That’s $3200 a month
So don’t go around plying the “ive got kids to feed routine”
3200 doesn’t include food stamps which brings you up to $4000 in government money per month.
If you were starving and dying you wouldn’t be able to get on the Internet.

I don’t chat with any of a local homeless around here through the Internet either

one of my son in laws is a movie theatre worker
I know exactly how much the government is paying to keep people unemployed

it will take you years to replace that building your own lawn biz and never if you focus on poor people as customers

We're not on food stamps, thank you very much. We probably could be, but we have chosen not to apply because we don't like how they make it such a pain in the ass to be on any kind of benefits. I'm not a fan of government intrusion into the lives of people. And in case you didn't notice, since you're obviously not looking around, many states, including mine, are cutting that gravy train three months early.

We live very frugally and can last for quite a while on what we have, but I also have a guy who has long stated a desire to work with me in a lawn care business, so there's that.

For what it's worth, you're coming off as someone who turns his nose up at his fellow human beings and thinks he's better than they are. I hope that isn't how you come off in real life. I'm not looking to do a full time lawn business. I start classes in a few days toward a master's degree and I might decide to go for a doctorate afterward. I'm looking to do something as a stopgap measure, and grow it later on in a different location if I decide I like it. I like cutting grass enough right now to do it on a part-time basis. Who knows if I'll like it more along the way. I see nothing wrong with testing a business endeavor that way - I've done it before, generally discovering that I like whatever I'm doing.

I'm not looking to work for poor people. They don't hire anyone to cut their grass anyway and if they do, they'll take the homeless guy who goes up and down the street pushing an old lawn mower. But in a poor area, a "middle income" means you can live uncommonly well. I know that some people around here serve areas where the median home value is several hundred thousand. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again due to the high proportion of snobby attitudes. Taken as an average across cities and townships, median home value in my area is probably around 100K. What would get you living well around here would make you poor in a rich area.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
We're not on food stamps, thank you very much. We probably could be, but we have chosen not to apply because we don't like how they make it such a pain in the ass to be on any kind of benefits. I'm not a fan of government intrusion into the lives of people. And in case you didn't notice, since you're obviously not looking around, many states, including mine, are cutting that gravy train three months early.

We live very frugally and can last for quite a while on what we have, but I also have a guy who has long stated a desire to work with me in a lawn care business, so there's that.

For what it's worth, you're coming off as someone who turns his nose up at his fellow human beings and thinks he's better than they are. I hope that isn't how you come off in real life. I'm not looking to do a full time lawn business. I start classes in a few days toward a master's degree and I might decide to go for a doctorate afterward. I'm looking to do something as a stopgap measure, and grow it later on in a different location if I decide I like it. I like cutting grass enough right now to do it on a part-time basis. Who knows if I'll like it more along the way. I see nothing wrong with testing a business endeavor that way - I've done it before, generally discovering that I like whatever I'm doing.

I'm not looking to work for poor people. They don't hire anyone to cut their grass anyway and if they do, they'll take the homeless guy who goes up and down the street pushing an old lawn mower. But in a poor area, a "middle income" means you can live uncommonly well. I know that some people around here serve areas where the median home value is several hundred thousand. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again due to the high proportion of snobby attitudes. Taken as an average across cities and townships, median home value in my area is probably around 100K. What would get you living well around here would make you poor in a rich area.
I’m far more informed than you obviously
The states are cutting that for people to go back to WORK.

you’re ok accepting UI but food stamps are beneath you?
That sounds like a you problem

you’re going on about kids needing to be fed
But both of you are musicians that entertain at old folks homes?

that doesn’t sound responsible
Hard working
Or something that brings in $4k a month or more.

try getting a job
Strumming the banjo to the oldies is a hobby , not family supporting behavior
You WILL NOT be able to bring home the bacon mowing lawns for the poor
Period
No amount of twisted logic will alter that reality

don’t go on about work ethic and what the job market is like until you’ve actually held a career that’s not starving artist
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
We're not on food stamps, thank you very much. We probably could be, but we have chosen not to apply because we don't like how they make it such a pain in the ass to be on any kind of benefits. I'm not a fan of government intrusion into the lives of people. And in case you didn't notice, since you're obviously not looking around, many states, including mine, are cutting that gravy train three months early.

We live very frugally and can last for quite a while on what we have, but I also have a guy who has long stated a desire to work with me in a lawn care business, so there's that.

For what it's worth, you're coming off as someone who turns his nose up at his fellow human beings and thinks he's better than they are. I hope that isn't how you come off in real life. I'm not looking to do a full time lawn business. I start classes in a few days toward a master's degree and I might decide to go for a doctorate afterward. I'm looking to do something as a stopgap measure, and grow it later on in a different location if I decide I like it. I like cutting grass enough right now to do it on a part-time basis. Who knows if I'll like it more along the way. I see nothing wrong with testing a business endeavor that way - I've done it before, generally discovering that I like whatever I'm doing.

I'm not looking to work for poor people. They don't hire anyone to cut their grass anyway and if they do, they'll take the homeless guy who goes up and down the street pushing an old lawn mower. But in a poor area, a "middle income" means you can live uncommonly well. I know that some people around here serve areas where the median home value is several hundred thousand. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again due to the high proportion of snobby attitudes. Taken as an average across cities and townships, median home value in my area is probably around 100K. What would get you living well around here would make you poor in a rich area.
Don't take him too personally. He has a lot of years in the green industry and is a straight shooter so he does know what he's talking about.
 

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